Hyundai is updating its mid-size SUV with a Sonata-esque grille.
Despite just arriving for the 2019 model year, Hyundai’s Santa Fe is going under the knife for 2021. The Korean automaker teased the new look with some shadowy images earlier this week, promising more info “in the coming weeks.”
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The facelift will keep the current model’s squinty main headlamps, but with new lighting elements within. The DRL signature extends into the foglights, making a T shape while providing the same under-the-bodywork illusion found on the bigger Palisade. It’s the shape of the grille that’s the biggest change out front—literally. It stretches across the entire width of the Santa Fe, enclosing the lower lighting elements. Is anybody else getting a Joker vibe from it? No? Okay.
Two different models are on show here, with the grille treatment being what sets them apart. A standard grille looks similar to the current model’s treatment (above), while the other offers a blingier, geometric design (top).
Hyundai didn’t hint at the engine lineup for North America, but its European office confirmed the new model would arrive with both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. It also said the 2021 Santa Fe would be the first Hyundai model in Europe to use the brand’s third-generation vehicle platform, which allows for the hybrid setups. That makes this a substantial facelift—and arguably, not even one, but a whole new generation. Color us intrigued.
We’ll know more next month, when we expect Hyundai to reveal more on its long-running SUV. It should be on sale before the end of the year.